Why Does My Car AC Keep Turning On and Off? [10 Reasons & Solution]

why does my car ac keep turning on and off

 No one would like to travel in summer in the sweltering heat-up car without AC. In bad summer, the malfunctioning car AC is more than a nightmare. It can cause major health hazards and heatstroke if you’re traveling with pets and kids.

Many large vehicle drivers have to mess up with car AC. It instantly turns on and then off surprising the driver what to do. In this post, you’ll learn the reasons and solutions for fixing AC by clicking on and off

Why does my car AC keep turning on and off? There are many reasons for this fault in car AC. The main reasons are lack of or excess of freon. Other reasons are faulty motor, fuse, relay, and broken AC fan. Leakage of refrigerants and freezing of moisture are also contributing factors to this issue.

The Car AC compressor is designed to suck in the low-pressure, low-temperature gas and turn it into high-pressure gas with a compressor. The compressor receives power from the crankshaft and energizes the clutch.

Why My Car AC Keep Turning On and Off

10 Reasons For Your Car AC Turning On and Off

It is not easy to know the exact reason for AC turning on and off within one minute or two. It requires comprehensive mechanical work to detect the right issue in AC. It could possibly be one reason out of the 10 reasons given below:

#1- Loss Of Cooling Gas Freon

The main reason for car AC kicking on and Off is low refrigeration gas freon. The common cause of low refrigeration leaks. This leakage can occur at fitting due to worn-out seals. As a result, freon can leak around the AC compressor, kinked AC lines, and so on.

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The other reason for leakage can be intermittent conditioners turning on and off or the car battery may need a recharge.

#2- AC Components Freezing UP

The second main reason for this issue is the freezing of AC components. When AC components freeze it causes inadequate cooling and the AC to cycle on and off. This freezing of components is caused by dust and the clogging of air filters. This further restricts airflow. This blockage or freezing is also caused by overcharging of the AC system When the evaporator drain blocks, the components start freezing. The quickest way to check for this freezing issue is to find puddles of water under vehicles. 

#3- Excess Of Refrigerant Freon In Lines

Another common reason for AC turning on and off in excess of from in line. It is caused right after when your car arrives from the station or you overcharge your AC compressor. This problem can be fixed when you check your Car AC for service to the mechanic. Many compressors turn off as a result of overcharging. It gets hot from outside and pressure rises ultimately to turn off the compressor.

#4- Trash Between Condenser & Radiator

When the trash is stuck between the condenser and radiator it can disturb the airflow. This ultimately increases pressure to the level where the compressor turns off automatically. Keep the space between condenser and radiator clean. Check it for leaves and plant debris as it can easily stuck anywhere.

#5- Fault Fuse 

This is the most neglected reason for the condition system turning on and off. When the fuse system in your car dont function properly, it is likely to disconnect the electricity passage to AC. This in turn makes the AC process turn on and off variable. The solution to this problem is to check the fuse and replace it if needed.

#6- Relay Malfunction

It would be unfair to blame AC components for this fault without checking the relay or electricity system for AC. Relay is the thing that would let the compressor kick in. AC controllers depend on the relay and send the signal to the relay. This relay is responsible for energizing the clutch of the compressor. If the car relay is bad, the compressor is sure to kick off. So, check it to Pro Car mechanic.

#7- Cooling Leakage

In many cases, refrigeration leakage is the main cause of the deactivation of the conditioning system. This is detected easily by simple inspection. If you see yellow-green liquid under your car, it indicates that refrigeration is leaking. It requires immediate service and repair. After losing cooling gas the AC would collect heat that would turn off the compressor immediately.

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#8- Car AC Fan Problems

If the fan of the conditioning unit is broken or not working properly it would also turn off the AC compressor frequently. When a fan has some technical problem or it’s clogged due to dust, it will require maintenance. This problem can be easily detected as there would be a lot of noise or sounds coming from fans. If you hear such sounds, go to a pro car mechanic and get the fan checked.

#9- Low Quality AC Compressors

When there is no reason mentioned above, the reason could be a low-quality AC compressor. This bad-quality conditioning compressor might not be compatible with your car model. Plus the compressor is not able to work under harsh weather conditions, it is likely to turn on and off frequently. The solution to this problem is to replace the compressor and get a high-quality new one.

#10- Malfunction Of Blower Motor

If the AC motor is not functioning properly, it will turn off the compressor frequently. The faulty motor can drain the liquid of the battery. To resolve this issue you can replace the blower motor. Ask the mechanic to check it and install a high-quality blower motor.

#11- Worn Out Hoses & Seals

If the seals of the car door are worn out, the cooling will leak. It will increase pressure on the compressor to turn it off and on. If you want to avoid this ensure zero leakage. Check all seals and hoses for any kind of leakage.

How To Fix Car AC Keep Turning On and Off: Easy Solutions

If you inspect the compressor and find out the exact reason for the AC compressor clicking on 

and off, you can surely fix the problem. Below are a few easy solutions to keep AC in working condition

Solution 1: Reset The AC Setting

In trucks and other vehicles, the setting may cause this issue. The climate control system in AC can automatically push it to defrost mode. This mode accumulates moisture in pipes. To solve this issue reset the AC setting. If you dont know much get some pro car mechanic help.

Solution 2: Detect Overcharged AC Conditioning System

Use pressure guage to check the overcharge conditioning system. If the compressor is overcharged it will heat up early to click off. The solution is to check the pressure reading continuously during charging. 

Solution 3: Ensure Regular Service Of Car

If the airflow is unblocked, AC will function without any trouble. This air blockage occurs due to debris and trash close to the regulator or AC fans. Make sure to take your car to the service station regularly. It will help to maximize the longevity of car accessories.

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Solution 4: Check The Freon Level

Both the loss and excess of Freon level are not good for smooth functioning of car AC. If the compressor is not operating continuously, it’s time to check the freon level. You need gauges or standard gauges to check the pressure. If you dont have this equipment you can get this level checked by a mechanic.

Solution 5: Check If AC Need Recharge

The simplest way to detect if your AC need recharge is warm air. It means that the refrigerant amount is quite low in your system. If you see this immediately go for recharge. 

People Also Ask

How Often Should a Car’s AC Cycle on and off?

Normally, the car AC compressor turns on and off 2 to 3 times during one hour for 15 to 20 minutes. This cycle is inevitable to keep the AC in running condition. It also helps to increase the flow of cool air to spread in-cabin equally.

If the cycle turns off and on more than 3 times during 20 minutes, it’s time to check it by a mechanic. 

Does the AC clutch Run All The Time?

It depends on the AC setting and model. If the auto climate setting is on, it would run all the time no matter whether it’s winter or summer. However, if the auto-climate setting is off it will turn off after every cycle. This auto climate option is widely available in the latest car models.

Can AC Compressor Run Continuously?

AC compressor will run continuously until you switch it off. It will also turn off if some error occurs in a setting or some technical fault. The faulty fuse and blower motor can also stop the compressor from working. If you want the smooth operation of the AC compressor, ensure its regular service by the pro mechanic.


There are many technical reasons behind the short cycling or car AC. The most important to look for is to check the level of refrigeration freon. To detect the reason quickly check the relay, AC setting, AC recharging, Blower motor condition, sensor, and radiator.

If you want to keep the car AC functioning properly, you should take steps such as regular service and maintenance if required. If nothing works the last solution will be to replace the compressor.

James Randolph

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